Hawai’i drops ball in opener

Warriors upended by Division I-AA Portland St. 45-20

Associated

Press

HONOLULU — It was supposed to be Hawaii’s coming out party for

the 2000 season and a continuation of its dramatic climb toward a place among

the nation’s football elite.

The setting was perfect: a near-sellout home

crowd and a Division I-AA opponent.

Only trouble was Portland State wasn’t

intimidated, even after falling behind 10-0 early in the game and going

three-and-out on its first three offensive possessions.

When the final gun

sounded Saturday night, the Vikings had dominated the stunned Warriors,

45-20.

The defense got PSU started with Tino Retamoza picking off a fumble

and returning it 67 yards for a score and Steve Morse following with a 19-yard

touchdown return off an interception.

Then, the offense, behind Jimmy

Blanchard and Charles Dunn, went to work. By game’s end, Blanchard had passed

for 235 yards and one TD and Dunn had carried 39 times for 154 yards. Terry

Charles also had a big night, catching five Blanchard passes for 168

yards.

Even Coach Tim Walsh wasn’t concerned.

“I think we were a bit

conservative in the beginning,” he said. “I think once we found out we could

play with them, we decided to pick it up.

“This (win) tells us we can be

very good. There’s no doubt about that.”

Still, Walsh said he wants to keep

things in perspective.

“It’s a big win, but it doesn’t do anything to help

us to get where we want to get, and that’s winning the Big Sky

championship.”

For Hawaii Coach June Jones, it was a disappointing

loss.

“It’s tough to win a game when you spot them 15 points,” he said. “It

kind of changed the momentum of the game.”

AP

portland state

running back Charles Dunn shakes a tackle early in the Vikings’ 45-20 upset of

Hawai’i Saturday night in Honolulu. The Division I-AA school capitalized on UH

turnovers to win.

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